In The Event…

…of my demise.

Some time ago, we had a really rough doctors appointment, where some hard things were discussed.  And it made us really maudlin.  We talked about the worst-case-scenario; (I recommend the discussion to everyone, even though it is hard… we will all pop our clogs at some point).  We talked about “what if” something catastrophic happened and I karked it, before we’d finished growing the kids.  My hubster is a practical man and he asked me to write a manual.  Like a cheat-sheet of ‘what Rach would do’ if I wasn’t around to do it.  Well, that is probably the toughest writing gig I’ve ever had.  And I didn’t manage it so well.
I resorted to rhyming verse.
What can I say?  I’m weird.
When I had finished I decided that it might be easier to get an indexed note book and jot things down as they occurred to me, you see, there are so many things a daddy might not think about if he is left without a mummy.  The index book is working well and getting fuller all the time, but I thought I would share with you my Doctor Seussy rhyme.  Cos it is weird in a way I quite like.  Whatever it takes to write the hard stuff, huh. Here tis, straight from my odd stream of consciousness.

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Here’s Dr Seuss himself.  He has a lot to answer for that man.

Before I begin this Mummy Manual.  Here is a side note to the kids, in the event of my demise:
If I could be well and stay with you, I would.  Going was not my choice and I love you, love you, love you.  You are the best things I ever did, apart from finding your Daddy and loving him.  You are amazing and I am devastated that I will miss out on all the good stuff to come.  I hope with all my heart that I can follow you from wherever I am and see all your milestones.  If there is something after this, then you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be there watching over you. And I promise to remain in your memories, to live in your heart and stay your Mum forever and ever.  I am in your DNA!

Right.  Better get on with it.  My head is already aching with all the un-shed tears and it is beginning to dawn on me that this particular task is going to be very difficult.
…bleughhh.  Every time I begin to write I cry.   It’s not going to work.

There may arrive a moment
a week or even year
When you wish that you could ask me
but I will not be there
You said to write a manual, a philosophy or a guide
I started it, I wrote a bit, you have to know I tried.
But every time I thought I won’t be here, well.
I cried.
So honey, here’s my answer, it’s twee and naff, I know
But if I write in rhyming verse my grief stays well below.

Point One:  Manners are taught and learned
They don’t arrive by chance.
And if they do not use them, they’ll fail to advance.
It isn’t something small, it’s a crucial thing you see
good manners open many doors and mean so much to me.
They’re in first place on purpose,  help them find them, pretty please.

Point Two: Expect respect.  Any less is really rude.
If you let them disrespect you, as their parent you’ll be screwed.
So if you ask them once, or twice, and nothing happens fast,
withdraw a privelege or two and hold out to the last.
Some battles must be won by YOU and do not let them past.

Point Three: …is presentation.  The face, the clothes, the rest.
It’s not enough you have good looks, please also dress your best.
Don’t worry about saving money, buy good instead of much.
Keep it plain and classy …and with fashion, keep in touch.
Look around at what they’re wearing, at school and in the shops.
Look online at the catalogues, buy whole outfits, yep, the lot.
Ask questions of the shop girls, ask the kids (a little bit).
Make judgements based on values: “should she been seen in it?”.
Be clean, brush teeth, and brush hair too.
Then there’s nails and elbows and knees.
Fancy hairdos just don’t matter;like tidiness and cleanliness do.

And just a little side note for the days that will come with your daughter
Grooming costs money, so spend it my honey, simply because you oughtta.

Point Four: organisation.  Keep tabs on dates and stuff.
Online calendar all the appointments, cos remembering is tough.
Get reminders to your inbox, prepare ahead of time.
Label and sort and organise so the day is calm and sublime.
If you prepare ahead for tomorrow, tomorrow will be just fine.

Point Five:  (I feel all Doctor Suessy, I wish I did not have to rhyme,
but there’s no easier way to tell you than this weirdo wee poem of mine)…
point five is so important.  This one you need the most.
Have confidence my honey, deep breath, close eyes and coast…
remember what we had was good, and still is with you now.
You don’t need my philosophy, it’s in you still, somehow.
You know me and you know my ways, but nothing is the same.
Don’t keep the way things used to be, ‘new normal’ is the aim.
As long as love is central, and you try to do your best,
the rest will happen naturally, so try, please, not to stress.

I loved you and I love you still, wherever it is that I am.
My heart is forever with your heart and my love remains the same.
Our children are forever lucky, to have you for their Dad.
So keep them close and let them in, it’s okay to be sad.
When you remember days now gone, remember with a smile.
Remember how I nagged and harassed to make this mental file.
And if you should forget them all, the things I used to say,
read back to this and hold them close, or ignore them again, okay?

The only things that truly matter are the things in your heart, anyway.


7 thoughts on “In The Event…”

  1. Oh Rachel I am crying again, Phil is looking at me & I can see he’s thinking “what’s up with her”! Your words are beautiful, touching & so very scary! I miss you my friend you are the strongest bravest person I know! Take care xxxx

  2. Your Mum would be prouder than proud Rach- that is an awesome poem. I am sure your hubby would do just fine with instructions like that. Xx

  3. What do I say? Just cry and let the tears speak. Keep writing and sharing and making people aware and inspiring people to show love and kindness beyond their self-preserving boundaries.

    1. Dan, you are a beautiful soul. I think we all need to self-preserve, I do get that. Time is so limited and we are all so stretched.

      I often wish we could just take “How are you?” out of small talk conversations altogether, it would be so much easier. 🙂 Then if people have time to talk, it could come later in the conversation. It’s a convention that doesn’t fit the pace of modern life very neatly. I bet all of us feel like we can’t do the question justice at times. It’s hard to be authentic if you are not, in fact, fine. Thanks for your encouragement. -Rx

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